Countdown to demolition

New homes being built at Queens Park

New homes being built at Queens Park

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The second phase of development at Queens Park has got the go-ahead in a move which will see £600,000 invested in new outdoor leisure facilities at the estate.

Planning approval, which was granted this week, now paves the way for the demolition of the final three tower blocks – Churchill Court, Walter Robinson Court and Elizabeth Court – which will be detonated in a controlled explosion in May or June.

Building work will see part of Layton recreation ground lost to make way for new homes. But council planning policy requires this to be compensated for.

The money will come from the council’s housing revenue budget made up of funds collected from social rents.

Ward councillor Gary Coleman said: “In total there will be a net loss of about a quarter of a hectare of open space when you take into account the encroachment onto the Layton recreation grounds.

“This will be compensated for though by an already-earmarked investment of more than half a million pounds of improvements to the park.

“Although the park improvements don’t in themselves require formal planning approval, it is hoped that as many people as possible will be involved in the consultation.”

Coun Coleman added; “I think we will all find it strange to no longer see the high rise flats at Queens Park. When the towers tumble in a couple of months’ time Blackpool’s skyline will never be the same again.

“But this will be a new start for the area, it is hoped residents will have pride in their homes and the surroundings.

“I can’t help thinking of some of the characters that I have met over the years on Queens Park. There have been some wonderful people who have called it their home.

“The view from the top of the high rise flats was priceless but time marches on.

“It is time for a new start and for new lives to be lived on Queens Park, and when the towers crash down I, like many, will have little regret they have gone.

“Instead I will know that the quality of life for future residents will be so much better for them than for those that lived there before.”

The second phase will see 81 houses and 18 flats built, to add to the 92 homes in phase one of the £22m scheme.